General Diet Plans and Questions - I need help!

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08-10-2013, 06:13 PM
Hello Everyone,

I have been trying to diet for a while now, but have always used the "I will start next week" excuse.

This past week I have started my diet and exercise regime. I am taking it slow by eating a healthy breakfast, snack in the morning, lunch, snack in the afternoon, and dinner. Monday and Tuesday I did really well, but there is a reoccurring issue that I will bring up in a minute. Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday I did well for breakfast and lunch but not dinner (I cheated).

The problem I have that caused me to cheat: I am starving!!! I have done a lot of research to curve the hunger. I have tried eating a lot of high fiber foods, large breakfast (400 calories and full of fiber), very large lunches with lots of fiber and low calories, drinking tons of water, walking/exercising to help with pangs, and eating lean protein; however I am still hungry. The only time that I am not hungry was after I cheated on Wednesday and Thursday night when I had fast food for dinner. I don't know if it's the sat fat or oil that fills me up, but I do not know what to do! I even tried taking Omega Lean (an appetite suppressant) to help keep me full. I usually eat around 9:00 AM, and usually am fine when I get to lunch. I am just hungry enough. I usually eat at 1:30 PM. The time I usually get REALLY hungry is almost immediately after lunch at 3:00-4:00 PM. I will eat a snack in hopes of filling me up. The other day I had 2 large carrots and an apple at the same time to help make it to dinner but it didn't help. When I do have the willpower to make it home to eat healthy, I eat dinner around 6:00 PM and am hungry all night until I go to sleep.

If anyone can give me some advice I would really appreciate it. I want to be healthy, and I know how to be healthy. I know what to eat, how often to eat but I am still starving.

Thanks :)

Jared Bagnall

08-10-2013, 06:18 PM
The regime I am on currently involves consuming 1,500-1,750 calories a day and exercising 300 calories (walking/running). The foods I eat are organic fruits, vegetables, grains, and proteins (mostly soy). I am a vegetarian. I also drink around 3-4 liters of water a day. I am trying to lose around 2 pounds a week.

08-10-2013, 06:25 PM
I know the trick is to not starve yourself and to eat if you are hunger. As long as it is the right type of food, but I am eating healthy foods and stay hungry all day.

08-10-2013, 06:53 PM
Well, are you a committed veggie, or are you the sort who could be persuaded to eat some chicken or fish? Perhaps the soy isn't doing it for you.

Other than that, I have to ask...are you sure you're hungry? Many times "hunger" is actually thirst. Also, overweight folks such as myself often "think" they are hungry when they are not, because disordered eating has messed up your body's real hunger response. Also sometimes it's merely habit, and you just think you should be eating at a certain time or because of certain triggers etc. Boredom is often mistaken for hunger.

08-10-2013, 06:57 PM
Hey MauiKai,

Thanks for your post :)

I am a committed veggie. I have been a vegetarian for around 5-6 years, but am overweight (by 40 pounds) due to the diary and fast food places.

I am pretty sure it is hunger. I drink a LOT of water. I sip it and chug it all the time to help fill me up, to no avail.

I guess it could be a matter of psychology. I just don't understand how, when I cheated Wednesday-Friday, I was full, but when I ate healthy I was hungry. I even ate less when I cheated...


08-10-2013, 07:26 PM
I even ate less when I cheated...

Was it less volume-wise, or calorie-wise? If it's calorie-wise, why not continue to eat those things you enjoy within the limitations of your diet plan?

For me, the first two weeks were the most I'm okay eating healthier, and I don't mind that slight hunger feeling between meals, but at first it was hard. I didn't feel satisfied with anything. Boredom eating was the most difficult...I was used to making a big bowl of salty buttery popcorn, or eating chips or crackers, etc. I can't do that any more, and instead I've replaced those boredom snacks with an ounce of almonds, or blueberries, or yogurt, etc.

Perhaps you also aren't satisfied with the flavor of your food? I enjoy delicious food, that has always been my downfall. As I've been dieting I have been trying new recipes to bring additional flavor without too many calories (general tso's tofu was a new one for me, although I'm not vegetarian, can be found on Don't forget to include healthy fats and oils like nuts, avocado and olive oil, as those can be very satisfying with small amounts.

I hope this helps! I know hunger is not a fun feeling :(

08-10-2013, 08:21 PM

I don't know what it is. It's not the taste. I can get over that. It's just the stuff I am eating does not make me feel full. I have reduced the amount of calories I am taking and am eating more. I also can't set a calorie goal and eat the same things. A part or my problem is having extremely high blood pressure. I have to eat healthier (less salt) or I will die young. It's proven in my genetics. I just don't know if I should be eating something different, if this will stop over time, if there is some type of supplement I can take?

08-10-2013, 09:34 PM
Hi Jared, I am on a plan that avoids quick carbs--breads and grains, fruits, dairy, sweets, and starchy veggies--for 6 days of the week, but ahhh, the 7th day is cheat day, a whole day when I can eat anything I want in any portion I want! You see, my problem is with carbs. Quick-burning carbs cause my insulin to spike and then fall, making me hungry, really hungry, even if I've eaten enough to be full. But on this diet plan, I count no calories, and for most of the week, I eat as much lean protein, non-starchy veggies, and legumes as I want. (I get full before I do any serious damage as far as calories go and my insulin doesn't spike causing hunger because the carbs I do eat burn slowly.) I can eat nuts, but I eat them in moderation because of the fat in them. I have to avoid dairy except that I am allowed eggs and cottage cheese, so that works for me. With this diet, my cravings and hunger have absolutely fallen off. I no longer have the sharp spikes and drops that trigger my hunger. Even on cheat day, when I can have any food at all, I'm not having a problem. It's like I have a different relationship with food now. I don't crave certain things and I don't feel guilty about eating certain things on cheat day. It is working unbelievably well for me. You said you are eating high fiber (breads and grains?) but you are still hungry. That made me wonder if "quick" carbs are an issue for you too. Anyway, I thought I'd share, and whichever plan you choose, whatever you find fits you best, I wish you the best of luck!

08-10-2013, 10:54 PM
I do notice that I do consume a great deal of carbs...

Could it be that I take in to many carbs and that is spiking my insulin and making me hungry after 1-3 hours after eating?

08-10-2013, 10:55 PM
I could try a low carb diet this week and see what happens. Is there such thing as a non-quick carb food?

08-11-2013, 08:44 AM
I think one thing is when you start eating less, you might experience some head hunger because you are used to eating. Sometimes drinking tea will help that. You can also mix up your foods a bit.

One thing may be to look into a low GL/GI diet which I think is better for long term adherence than a low carb diet.

Also, I'm vegan and I'm not anti-soy but I just don't eat a lot of soy. Are you also including legumes (beans, lentils, etc)? What type of grains are you eating? Sometimes things like a whole grain bread won't be satisfying as brown rice. Are you eating any nuts or other fats?

08-11-2013, 10:04 AM
Peas and sweet potatoes are slower burning carbs, compared to say white potatoes.

I do some juicing and smoothies, in a lot of recipes I see vegan protein powders, you might want to try adding something like that. I was reading about protein deficiency recently and one of the indicators was craving carbs, certainly not trying to diagnose for you.

Nelie's post reminded me I have some dried beans called cow peas or pigeon peas, they are great with some brown rice. A little different than beans or peas. I'm going to use them today for dinner!


08-11-2013, 11:53 AM
I see your problem. Most of your protein is soy. Are you a vegetarian? Meat, fish, seafood, poultry protein is more filling. Protein is the most satisfying and stays with you the longest followed by fat. Carbs sate you for about an hour and then send you looking for more to eat. Water does nothing to fill you up because it leaves the stomach quickly. There are diseases associated with protein deficiency but not one case of carb deficiency has ever been diagnosed and there are no medical problems from too few carbs but lots for too many.

08-11-2013, 12:20 PM
Well protein deficiency in the US is nearly nonexistent, even among the the extremely poor. I wouldn't blame hunger on protein deficiency. My own personal experience isn't that I felt less hungry when I wasn't vegan than afterwards.

08-11-2013, 12:23 PM
I also think it is likely that you would do better with more protein. Normally I would suggest chicken, fish, and eggs. I'm not sure about proteins for vegetarians. I would definitely recommend protein powder, I mix mine in with unsweetened almond milk.

Secret Swan
08-11-2013, 05:50 PM
I'm not an expert or anything, but I've certainly done this a few times, and I think there are a few things going on that you could address.

1) Every time I sharply reduce my calories, I am starving for the first few days. For some people this lasts a bit longer. But here's the thing: You're training your stomach, your energy level, and your mind to function just as well (or better, if you're increasing physical activity) on less. So of course you are hungry. But you are not literally starving to death, and if you can follow your plan for a week, it will get easier. Hunger is not an emergency, and a little discomfort now is much better than, say, a stroke in 20 years. Just hang in there. I don't want to sound like I think it's easy, but you have to do it.

2) Yes, eat a lot of low-calorie high-fiber food, but also include more filling things. I try to work black beans and sweet potatoes into my meals regularly, because they feel "heavy" in my stomach for longer than a huge cucumber and tomato salad could.

3) Experiment and see what works. For me, dividing my calories into a ton of small meals means I am never really satisfied, so I eat a very small breakfast (either a packet of oatmeal or an apple with a tablespoon of honey) and a bigger lunch and dinner. That leaves me more full when I am tired and frustrated from work and my will-power is lower, and it means if I suddenly decide to go to happy hour I have some flexibility left. One thing about 3fc, though, is that I've learned that everyone feels different ways about how to plan their food for the day. Keep tweaking, and find out what works for you.

4) Eat hot things. Soup for meals, tea between. It'll make you feel full.

5) Get through a week or whatever of sticking to your plan, and you'll adjust. And it will still be a challenge. So re-read your original post and remind yourself that you don't want to have to re-train yourself. It'll help you stick with it.

6) Whatever happens, hang in there and congratulations on your efforts to get healthy!

08-11-2013, 07:31 PM
Jared, there are slow-burning carbs. Stick to legumes and non-starchy veggies. Whole grain breads and rice, of course, are slower burning than white breads and rice; however, if you have a carb sensitivity, it's possible they can trigger your hunger too. I try to avoid them, except on cheat day. Fruits WITH skins can also be slower burning, but again, they are faster burning than veggies and they have sugar to boot, which is a trigger for me. I save them for cheat day also. I don't know how strict of a vegetarian you are and if you eat eggs and cottage cheese, but those are allowed as I mentioned before, while other dairy is not, except on cheat day. Nuts are good in moderation. I don't know about soy products. The great thing about cheat day is that it helps me to not think in terms of all or nothing, which I have always done. I can have those foods, just not everyday, and I have a much better grip on my hunger now. The diet I am following is called the Slow Carb Diet. You can google it. It was the diet in the book The 4-Hour Body by Tim Ferriss. It's pretty simple, and I make slight adjustments that work for me. For example, I drink water, but I also drink Diet Dr. Pepper, and I'm not willing to give that up, unless I find later that it's no longer working and I absolutely have to. I've read that some people do well with sweet potatoes, etc. That's kind of what everyone has to do--figure out what works best for them, no matter which diet they choose. This diet may not work for you, but then again, it may. You'll figure it out. It will just take a little experimenting. Again, good luck!

08-11-2013, 08:16 PM
Everyone's different, but my first thought reading your post was that more fat & protein would help. Greek yogurt is high in protein and filling. Your diet sounds v low in fat, so 2% or higher could help you out there.

You mentioned eating carrots and an apple for a snack. That wouldn't hold me over either. Have you tried an apple with a serving of nuts? A carrot with some avocado?

Btw, congrats on taking this step! Your plan sounds really good. I think it's likely that if you always pair your carbs with healthy fats and proteins, you'll feel much better.

08-12-2013, 09:53 AM
I do notice that I do consume a great deal of carbs...

Could it be that I take in to many carbs and that is spiking my insulin and making me hungry after 1-3 hours after eating?

Totally. Lots of veggies gain weight because they eat lots of grains.